Over at Gold Derby, the world turns somewhat differently than it does at Movie City News.  Most at Gold Derby are favoring Les Miserables.

Best Picture

Les Miserables
Dave Karger
Matt Atchity
Edward Douglas
Pete Hammond
Tariq Kahn
Tom O’Neil
Keith Simanton
Alex Suskind
Peter Travers
Susan Wloszczyna

Zero Dark Thirty
Thelma Adams
Michael Musto
Steve Pond
Kevin Polowy
Jeff Wells
Chuck Walton

Scott Feinberg
Anne Thompson
Glenn Whipp
Michael Hogan

Silver Linings Playbook
Sean O’Connell

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  • Kane

    Though there aren’t many reviews out right now, Metacritic has Les Mis sitting at 55. That’s more lukewarm than lukewarm. This could go down the same road as Nine (highly anticipated that fell under the weight of its own grandeur). But then again the raves could be coming soon enough.

  • PJ

    After all the insufferable hype, I would not expect them to quit on Les Mis so easy.

  • Akumax

    In a year as strong as this one Les Miserables will be lucky to get a nom for best picture. I think it winning BP is unconceivable. Predicting it for a few more days is a maneuver to keep the season interesting… The film is not as bad as Nine but it is not in the same league of Zero Dark Thirty – Lincoln – Amour – Life of Pi – Beasts of the Southern Wild – Holy Motors – Argo – and a few more.

  • Orly. Ty Tariq Khan of Fox News, ofc you’re the first guy I go to for Oscar news!

    Matt Atchity from Rotten Tomatoes also picking Les Mis. A reviews site, and he picks Les Mis. Srsly.

  • m1

    So you guys are saying Les Mis won’t win because two people didn’t like it? Please.

  • Okay, then. I’m just gonna call it for DJANGO UNCHAINED. 😛

  • No, m1. People are saying it won’t win because plenty didn’t like it. Please.

  • Al Robinson

    Is it wrong of me that I don’t want to see a musical win Best Picture? If you ask 1,000 people what their favorite musical of all-time is, and you’ll most likely hear either The Sound of Music or Grease. The Sound of Music won Best Picture, but Grease wasn’t even nominated. In order for a musical to win Best Picture, I think it needs to stand out much more that it’s main competitors. Just like a comedy winning, the way that Annie Hall did.

    I think that not knowing what’ll win Best Picture is a good thing, but still, reading the signs correctly, all the sign are pointing to Zero Dark Thirty winning Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards. I haven’t seen either one yet, but I’m rooting for either Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, The Master, or Life of Pi to win BP.

  • Nic V

    With regards to Les Miz the critics are begining to resemble the first class passengers on the Titanic. All sitting around and waiting believing that the ship will not sink. What the critics forget is that they are not members of AMPAS.

    You know we’ve seen this before. In 1996 a very similar situation arouse with Evita. Basically all music, rather dark and politically motivated. Excellent performances by Madonna, Banderas, and Pryce but didn’t get much attention Oscar time. Had a budget of 50M and made 55M domestically.

    Then came Moulin Rouge. An Avant-Garde musical with really no basis except that it represented the crazed Gaughin / Toulouse Latrec Paris of the late 1800’s. It captured imaginations and here there was the development of characters beyond just letting the music define them. The real difference about Moulin Rouge compared to most musicals is that it truly was Avant-Garde specially when it came to adapting the music to the film and the story line. Kidman and Broadbent were excellent. MacGregor was good but not as good as Kidman and Broadbent and in fact had a tendency to bring the film down a bit. It was flashy and didn’t pretend to be anything more than a damn good romp in the film hay.

    Then we had Chicago. Another broadway show adapted to the screen with just a slight difference in that this adaption included dialogue which helped define the characters much in the same way Moulin Rouge did only Chicago relied on dialogue a bit more than Moulin Rouge. Again excellent performances by Zellweger, Jones, Gere, and Latifah. This film resounded with Oscar but this wasn’t as dark as Evita and was more of a fairy tale and had some damn good choreography. It’s budget was around 45M and it made domestically 170M. Chicago even though it’s premise was dark never came off as if you were a Romanoff arriving in Ekaterinburg and tredging through mud up to your knees while dragging your suitcases on your way to the cellar. Chicago never weighed you down.

    Then we had Sweeney Todd. Very dark with good turns by Depp and Bonham Carter. Interesting but the direction was very heavy and in fact the film itself was heavy along with the performances. It had a budget of 50M and made 52M domestically.

    And then came the disaster called Nine. Budget 80M domestic gross 19M. What failed here was the script and the total inability to draw the vignettes together to really get a distinct view of the plot. The performances aren’t bad they just don’t merge. It’s like when you come to that intersection where you see the “yield” sign, Nine had a lot of “yield” signs but no one paid attention the film just keeps crashing into itself like children gone wild in bumper cars. The other thing with Nine was that it was not as critically acclaimed on Broadway as much as Sweeney Todd, Evita, or Les Miz.

    And now we have Les Miz where the reviews right now are not so good. It’s at 55 over at Metacritic but after finding out how the scores are achieved I’m not so sure I’d rely on those scores. But in the end I don’t think that Les Miz will come in much more than a high 70’s. It has budget of 61M and it’ll make it back because the play was just so popular and anyone who has seen it on Broadway and loved it is going to go see the movie. And to help it Tom Hopper pulled together a cast that certainly will draw attention.

    I don’t see Les Miz pulling off a win. I don’t think it’s in the cards. It will certainly do good box office. The thing with Les Miz is it has the same cross to bare as Evita and Sweeney Todd politically motivated and dark. Yeah the ending is uplifting but the ride to get there is like trying to decide to cross the Bridge of San Luis Rey or take the long winding road around it and avoid the bridge at all costs.

  • Dave Karger jumped the silver linings ship?

  • John

    When all is said and done I expect that Les Miserables will have plenty of pans, plenty of raves, and a mix of so-so/okay reviews that point out the strengths and the flaws.

    The thing that I think Les Miserables will have that Nine didn’t have are passion votes. The people who love or will love Les Mis … Love it. I don’t know that you could say the same for Nine or even Sweeney.

    As of now, I still expect many noms and probable BP nom but no win. And I don’t see the metacritic scores going much above 60 no less 70.

  • m1

    And what is considered “plenty “? Reports from random screenings? The Rotten Tomatoes score for Les Mis is much more positive and it will only go up from there. I find it silly to think that it won’t win based on 6 mixed/negative reviews.

  • m1

    I forgot to mention that Les Mis also has an 89 from the BFCA right now. That has to mean something too.

  • Jerry

    I think they believe ZD30 is another TSN. Critics all line up behind it but it ends up losing to the more emotional crowdpleaser TKS/Les Mis. This time I think the ZD30 hype to win is legit because of three things: 1) no obnoxious unsumpathetic characters 2) The history is real, TSN had some controversial untruths about Zuckerberg and his motivation 3) We all lived through 9/11 and find the death of Osama Bin Laden a sort of closure so the film is very meaningful vs. a film with some brats arguing over frivolous facebook. The elderly voters can relate to Zd30.

  • Jerry

    P.S. TSN was supposed to “represent my generation” but I could not relate to any of those people in the film as human beings. I never cared about what happened to them. ZD30 seems more relatable to not only my generation but everyone post 9/11, that’s why it will win over AMPAS where TSN didn’t.

  • Curtis

    With the reviews it is getting there is no way it will win. Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, Beast/Wild The master have all got way way way better reviews and Zero Dark thirty is already winning everything. And it looks like Django Unchained will take all the thunder away christmas day.

  • helios

    P.S. TSN was supposed to “represent my generation” but I could not relate to any of those people in the film as human beings.

    Because they were mostly Harvard students : -D

  • Jack Traven II

    I think Les Mis could suffer a similar fate like other films (by, well, some more, some less respectable directors) did, namely heading with the most nominations (or at least tied with another film) into the Oscar race and receiving only one or two statuettes at most. I mean, I wouldn’t even wonder if Les Mis didn’t receive a single award. They might cheer it and praise it, yes, but might not dare to embrace it. Thanks to its polarizing status that just seems to heat up. No one wants to embrace a stink maker, right? 😉

  • LSUduck

    Everyone crapping on Les Mis because of its reviews is hilarious. 1. There are a total of SEVEN in for Metacritic. That’s nothing. 2. It’s RT score may not be amazing but again it only has a very small amount of the total reviews it will have by the the time the story is told.

    Will the numbers improve greatly? Not necessarily but they are far from solidified. Let’s get real heare.

  • LSUduck

    *here…crap I saw the typo as soon as I hit submit…oh well.

  • moviefan

    It is rather funny to see people saying Les Mis won’t get in because of bad reviews. Besides that total of Seven reviews at Metacritic there are only 19 at RT, only 3 by top critics. It’ll have 5 times that or more in a couple of weeks. Even if “plenty” of these critics/bloggers don’t like it it doesn’t matter. They don’t vote. We’ll see what the Guilds say and at the Guild screenings the reception was very positive.

    Les Mis has been seen by 60million people in 43 countries, that’s one Hell of a built in audience. I think it’ll do very well at the B.O.

  • Chris

    I agree we should wait for more reviews but it is very very clear that Les will not get great reviews Zero Dark thirty, Master, Beast, SLP, Life of pi and Lincoln. it will not win. to many great movies.

  • LSUduck

    Yeah Chris because the critics get to vote for the Oscars….not. C’mon. It was never going to get ZD30 type reviews. Unless the reviews come in and stay at the numbers they are now, the Les Mis status quo remains unchanged: Not a critics darling but pure Oscar bait.

  • Bob Burns

    who is handling the Les Miz campaign?

  • Nic V

    I think Les Miz will get nominations I just don’t see it taking a lot of little gold statues home. I also agree it will do great box office. But Box Office does not mean it’s a great film it just means it has as was pointed out a built in audience.

    And yes there may be only six or seven reviews in but the range of the reviews and the comments in the reviews are very revealing. I think in the case of Metacritic since Metracritic assigns the numerical rating to the reviews that a couple of the reviews actually were rated higher than they should have been based on the context of the review. Just because someone loved the costumes or the art direction doesn’t mean that it’s a great film.

  • Jack Traven II

    So, AMPAS should hope not to gorge themselves on it this time since they had a lot of Oscar bait in recent years. Because sometimes when you think you got used to something you suddenly can’t stand it anymore and just want to spit it out and try something new. 😉

  • Curtis

    Being oscar bait don’t mean much when you don’t have much support. Lincoln is oscar bit, also got great reviews and great boxoffice. Les is going to half to be much more then oscar bait. Right now the race is between ZDT and Lincoln. Right now les is not living up to the hype.

  • LSUduck

    Not living up to the hype? All of US created the hype. The awards bloggers, commenters, etc. Also, besides Cole Smithey, I have not seen a single somewhat negative or completely negative Les Mis review that wasn’t written by someone who either hated the musical already or went in cold with no idea it was completely sung-through. Too much fanaticism from a critic is just as bad as having zero background knowledge of the film whatsoever. Sasha went in cold and at least admitted that this impacted her enjoyment of the film. It just blows my mind that 27 years later that people still have no idea what Les Mis is or that it’s completely sung-through.

    When the musical first opened in NYC and in London’s West End, the critics were split on it then as well. It’s a very demanding show due to it’s emotion and presentation and the film appears to be even more so.

    The film version was never going to get universal support. It’s going to come down to its fans and passionate supporters to push it through to a nomination or further. Keep in mind, if there is a vote split between ZDT and Lincoln, something like Les Mis or Argo could steal the show. All you need in the final Oscar ballot is a plurality, not a majority, if I am not mistaken. It’s this fact that could make for one interesting result.

  • Sasha Stone

    who is handling the Les Miz campaign?


  • rufussondheim

    If Gladiator with a Metacritic score of 64 can beat the popular and almost universally loved Crouching Tiger and Traffic, then Les Miz can still win.

    I don’t buy Lincoln as a winner and it looks like ZDT might be too brainy as well. That leaves Les Miz, or maybe Argo still. But I don’t think Argo will get enough #1 votes to survive into the final three when the preferential votes are tallied.

  • danemychal

    I don’t understand the people here talking about the votes being split between Les Mis & ZDT. You fine folks are forgetting about a (not so) little film called Lincoln. It’s director got a far inferior movie nominated for BP last year. This year he is back with a far superior film — a simultaneously timely and timeless film at that — and this time he brings a cast RBs the Academy absolutely adores. Point being, this is a three-horse race and I think Les Mis belongs in third place. The fact that it not widely to believed to be a serious contender or favorite for major hallmarks of a BP winner should tell you what its chances are. Its best shot at acting love is in supporting roles where even Barks and Hathaway could split votes to push Field ahead. It is not going to win Screenplay or Cinematography or Editing and not eligible for Score. If it wins, it wins in the same way Crash won.

  • LSUDuck’s comment above is BRILLIANT.

    1. The review game has really just begun.
    2. I can foresee close to 70 from MC and between 75 and 80 from RT
    3. In the end the critical concensus will have nop bearing on the voting. A little SOCIAL NETWORK anyone? (Yes SN got tremendous reviews, I am well aware but that really isn’t the point I’m posing)
    4. Musicals are tough sells with critics, and even tougher sells with young bloggers who are not generally warm towards Broadway and opera.
    5. There is indeed a massive build-in passion for this beloved stage musical.
    6. Passion votes from AMPAS members translates to a large quotient of #1 ballot placements.
    7. When the votes split all over the place LES MISERABLES has a real chance of making the Gold Derby gang clairvoyants.
    8. Prognosis: LES MISERABLES is a sure thing for a Best Picture nomination, and has a good a chance at the big prize at this point as ZERO DARK THIRTY, LINCOLN or ARGO.

  • LSUduck

    Danemychal, if you are responding to my vote splitting comment I did say ZDT & Lincoln. Not Les Mis. Les Mis will not be splitting votes from the same group as will vote for either ZDT or Lincoln. At least that’s how I see it.

  • Pierre de Plume

    Les Miserables has passionate supporters but not broad support. Best pic nomination at most.

    It’s between Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln. I’m still going with Lincoln as I suspect the Academy will find ZDT too dark, too real, and too violent. Lincoln is literate, pleases crowds, has good ensemble acting, and is the safe, noble and respectable choice.

  • steve50

    If you read the reviews that are posted, most (if not all) say the thing has its very high moments but that they occur in the first half of the film, after which it seems to implode. I can’t vouch for this as I haven’t seen it, but I trust those whose reviews I have read.

    To award a film for a sequence or two over better realized complete works would be egregious (and not all that surprising, I’m afraid).

    (Good rundown on high profile musicals, Nik V)

  • Pierre: LINCOLN will admittedly be tough to beat, that much is granted. And it is a very great film, one one of my own favorites of this year.

  • JS

    My advice: don’t bet against Dave Karger.

  • Classdude

    GUYS! Haven’t any of you read the reviews? You only focus on the negative whereas if any of you bothered to pay attention, the majority of the reviews for Les Miserables have been positive, particularly from the British press

  • PJ

    I don’t see them changing anytime soon. Just read article doubling down on Les Mis comparing it to Chicago. I guess with that much hype ya just gotta go down with the ship.

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    i know that many are perplexed with the LES MIZ votes of the Derby crowd, but think for a minute…they’ve actually seen it. they know something we don’t.

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